The oldest of those sedimentary layers were deposited in a peaceful ocean environment at the edge of a continental plate, comparable to the setting of the Bahamas today. In terms of biodiversity, the only comparable temperate deciduous forest regions in the world are in central China, Japan and in the Caucasus Mountains. The Blue Ridge's core bedrock was created during a mountain-building episode when tectonic plates collided. Hickories such as bitternut (Carya cordiformis), shagbark (Carya ovata), and mockernut (Carya tomentosa), are found here, as are black tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica), red maple (Acer rubrum), white pine (Pinus strobus), and white ash (Fraxinus americana). Source: Geographicus, De Bry and Le Moyne Map of Florida and Cuba (by Theodore de Bry, 1591). The composition of these forests varies throughout their range but often includes chestnut oak (Quercus prinus), northern red oak (Quercus rubra), eastern black oak (Quercus velutina), white oak, (Quercus alba), and scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea). Oak forests are often found nearby, either at lower elevations or in more exposed areas. We are, legitimately, in: the Smoky Mountains, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Appalachian Mountains, simultaneously. It covers an area of about 61,500 square miles (159,000 km2) in: northeast Alabama and Georgia, northwest South Carolina, eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and central West Virginia and Pennsylvania; and small extensions into Kentucky, New Jersey, and New York. Other trees can be sugar maple (Acer saccharum), eastern red-cedar (Juniperus virginiana), or pines. The Appalachians are home to 158 different species of tree, more than anywhere else in North America. Winterberry (Ilex montana), flame azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum), catawba rhododendron (Rhododendron catawbiense), and great rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum) are common shrubs. The shrub layer may be well-developed, with hillside blueberry (Vaccinium pallidum), black huckleberry (Gaylussacia baccata), or other acid-tolerant species most characteristic. . The forests have been altered by logging and clearance for agriculture, urban and industrial development (including mining) with only small patches of original forest remaining, the largest of which is in the Great Smoky Mountains; nearly all of Shenandoah National Park, for example, is regrown forest but still vital habitat for wildlife. This habitat takes the form of patchy to open woodlands, although closed-canopy may also be found. Sprouts of chestnut (Castanea dentata) can often be found where it was formerly a common tree. Soils are thin and nutrient-poor and trees are often stunted and wind-flagged. He also reported that gold, silver, and copper were in the mountains. Trees are mainly oaks and hickories, with other species less abundant.  Though popularly called bogs, many of them are technically fens. In the understory, some areas have a fairly well-developed heath shrub layer, others a graminoid layer, the latter particularly common under deciduous trees such as oaks. Endangered or threatened species of the Appalachians include some snails and salamanders, the red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus), loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus), Virginia big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus), the red wolf (Canis rufus) and the spruce-fir moss spider (Microhexura montivaga). The ecoregion is located in the central and southern Appalachian Mountains, including the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The Appalachians are named after the Appalachee, a Native American tribe that lived at modern-day Tallahassee, Florida. Summers are hot at lower elevations, warm at higher elevations. This also gives credence to why the Appalachian Trail passes by us, from Georgia on its way north, and also the Blue Ridge Parkway’s immediate presence. , Uncommon but significant are montane and allied spruce and southern Appalachian spruce-fir forests. , Southern Appalachian oak forests, widespread in the southeastern United States, occur on dry, upland sites on southern and western aspects and ridgetops. The Appalachee traded with other Native American tribes to the east. We are, according to the USGS (United States Geological Survey, the official mapping service of the federal government) in both the Appalachian mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are part of the Appalachians. If a person splits out the various provinces so only the Allegheny Plateau west of the Allegheny Front qualify as "Appalachia," then what is the appropriate label for the cultural patterns of the Blue Ridge (including mountain music and moonshine)?
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